The Abortion Rights Struggle in Wisconsin
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The purpose of this paper is to examine the history of the antiabortion movement in Wisconsin and place it in a broader, national context. The debate can be summarized as the fight over two conflicting personal liberties: the right of the unborn child to exist juxtaposed to a woman’s right to have control over her own body. Twenty-one archival boxes from nine different collections at the Wisconsin Historical Society formed the basis of the research for this project. The primary focus is on correspondence between conservative politicians from Wisconsin and their constituents between 1968 and 1980 at both the state and national level. Through these letters some observations can be made: religion, especially Catholicism, played a major role in developing and guiding Wisconsin’s antiabortion movement, and Wisconsin’s antiabortion movement did not fit the national trend of developing antiabortion activism only after Roe v. Wade. The paper further aims to give the reader a glimpse into the fierce political activism that Wisconsin is famous for.
Abortion--Religious aspects--Catholic Church
Abortion--Government policy--Citizen participation